In the days before early retirement and world travel we lived in the best apartment in all of Seattle. We were a block from a weekly farmer’s market, a block from a Safeway grocery store, 8 blocks from a public library, 9 blocks from a Trader Joe’s, and 5 blocks from a large city park with walking trails along a stream in old growth forest.
Home was also a block away from a main commercial street and the main neighborhood bus artery. We had our choice of a number of coffee shops, restaurants, and bars, along with easy access to every part of town just one short bus ride away. The owner of the quaint coffee shop just across the street would often give us free coffee and vegan chocolate chip cookies, due to our generous tipping and frequent gifts of home cooking.
The commute into the office was quite nice as well. I could walk downstairs, cross the street, and get on a bus that dropped me off 1 block from the building where I worked. According to the bus schedule, this trip required only 26 minutes, enough time to sit back and relax with a good book. Winnie’s commute was even better. She had to walk only 2 blocks to the University of Washington, where she was taking photography classes
Often I would ride my bicycle to work, to get some exercise and fresh air. It was also a great way to work off the stresses of unrealistic schedules and office politics. Depending on mood and weather, I had a choice of riding 8 miles, partially on city streets, or riding either 21 or 23 miles primarily on dedicated bike trails. Sometimes I would ride to and from work, and other days I might ride one way and then utilize the bike racks on thecity buses in the other direction.
“Wow, that sounds great, no wonder you didn’t need a car. You guys were so lucky! Where we live we could never do what you do.”
Absolutely, we were incredibly lucky. You know, because we have absolutely no choice where we live, kind of like we have no choice where we were born.
Below are all of the details and tools we used to find our great Seattle apartment. Perhaps it will help others become lucky too
Trekking in the mountains is hard work. Weight and pack space is at a premium. Every pound must be carried up and down rugged terrain, through thousands of feet of elevation change. You must carry all of your food with you for a week or more, you can’t just stop at a grocery store or order delivery. It requires an incredible amount of energy, so you must eat enough to keep you going but nothing heavy that will weigh you down and make you feel sluggish.
For these reasons, we ate a 100% raw vegan diet while hiking the Wonderland Trail. With no need for a stove, we shed the extra pounds and space required for fuel. Making our own food meant the smallest possible volume, with no extra packaging to pack-in/pack-out, eventually bound for a landfill. Eating raw fruit, nuts, and sprouted seeds meant our body had an abundance of energy with easy digestion.
It also meant a ridiculously low price tag for quality dining. And out of it was born an excellent name for a popular early retirement and travel blog, as well as a great number of requests for one specific recipe
So here it is, the official cracker of Go Curry Cracker!
For 4 weeks in March-April 2013, we enjoyed the waves and surf in Puerto Escondido, Mexico. As usual, we had a room in a hotel for a few days while we explored the area, and when we knew we wanted to stay longer we found a monthly rental. Due to the popularity of posts about our longer term rentals, here is a brief tour of our Puerto Escondido home
We found a place that looked great in the online photos. A few emails, 2 phone calls, a meeting, a tour, and a fierce negotiation later, we were the proud residents of a casita near Playa Manzanillo. The asking price was $350 a week, and the property manager would not budge. But after a short conversation about how we liked “the other place more”, she emailed the owners and they had agreed to accept our offer of $1000 for the month.
Once upon a time, President Obama told the nation, “If you like your health insurance, you can keep it.” Our insurance company recently sent us a letter informing us that because our policy did not comply with the requirements of the Affordable Care Act, it will no longer be available.
We aren’t the only ones having our policy cancelled. The conservative media is full of outrage over this, exclaiming “President Obama lied!” I was confused when I saw it. This is news? I’m reminded of an old headline from The Onion satirical newspaper, “Politician Accidentally Tells Truth!”
The liberal media counters that policies are being cancelled only because they don’t meet the minimum standards demanded by the ACA, and therefore everybody who has had a policy cancelled will now get better coverage.
But here at Go Curry Cracker, we ignore the media hype, sensationalist headlines, and political ranting and just look at the facts. Let’s do that now
San Miguel de Allende is All Dressed Up for the Day of the Dead
We hit the road again in October, returning to the Mexican highlands. For the next 3 months (or longer?) we are renting a house in San Miguel de Allende, the best city in the world according to the reader’s of Conde Nast’s Traveler magazine
We arrived at the airport in León early in the morning on Oct 1st with way more luggage than we’ve traveled with previously. Since we were planning on staying in one place for a time, we brought a high power blender and an electric guitar with us. The customs people gave us a sideways glance but just waved us through
We had a shuttle waiting, and 90 minutes later we were brought directly to the door of our rental house. Returning to Mexico feels a lot like coming home. The people and the food are incredible, and we are glad to be back